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When I read the first few chapters of Tess Wood’s new book, I felt like shouting, Hallelujah to the world. Here’s a book that shows love is not just beautiful, but another four letter word: mess.
Great for anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter, but different enough that it's definitely not a copy. Jessica Townsend is an excellent world-builder, and in light of Wonder Woman this is a fantastic book for girls who want to be strong, brave, and kind (and magical). This will be the next big thing and I can't wait to get it into people's hands.
To celebrate the new release of George's Marvellous Science Experiments by Roald Dahl, Boffins Books is having a Marvellous Science fun themed event for the School Holidays.
The Business Book Club powered by CCI and Boffins Books is an event series dedicated to bringing talented authors and their books to the WA business community.
Cohan makes a compelling case that we need Wall Street, big banks, and large corporations, even if we don’t love traders, bankers, and company executives. A great little primer on how capital markets are a cornerstone of our economic and social system.
This is just the second of Philip Kerr’s twelve novels featuring Bernie Gunther that I have read, so I’m trying to work out how I can find the time to read more of them, this one was so enjoyable. Perhaps enjoyable isn’t quite the right word, seeing as the world of Bernie Gunther is pretty gruesome at times, but his sly, wisecracking nature in the face of all sorts of adversity is definitely addictive.
Even if we’re not vegans, most of us eat less meat these days and this book has something for all of us.This one stands out from all the others because it’s so comprehensive – there are hundreds of recipes from all over the world. It’s divided up in the usual cookbook way – starters, salads, soups, mains, desserts. There’s even a section with recipes from famous chefs around the world, if you want to do something very special but vegan. I’ve always thought that vegan is so limiting – no meat, no dairy, no eggs, how do you make food interesting when so many ingredients are out of bounds? This book shows how to do it – whether it’s the homely vegan version of cottage pie, or the more sophisticated blood orange crème brulee. If you’re a vegan, or if you have a vegan in the family, then this book will make eating fun again for everyone!
In Asia and Africa and even Central and South America, insects are part of many people’s diet. Not so in the West. However, as the world population grows, perhaps more of us will end up eating insects. This book is fascinating, and yet almost disgusting! The idea that insects might not just be edible, but may actually be appetising, is a bit hard to stomach. But I’m old enough and “true-blue” enough to have grown up when olives, or anchovies, or even squid weren’t on most people’s menus! But I love and eat them all now! So it probably won’t be me, but perhaps a new generation will lust for some of the recipes in this book.You can start with a pre-dinner drink – how about a Hornet Highball? Made with whisky, soda and a small amount of the liquor of the giant hornet, it sounds like it could really get you into trouble! If you like Mexican, perhaps you could follow it with a Bee Larvae Taco. It’s not Mexican street food, it’s quite a complicated recipe, but you’d sure impress or disgust your friends if you served that at a dinner party. This is a book that a real foodie will enjoy, because as well as the confronting recipes, there’s lots of very interesting discussion about the whole idea of eating insects. And, as you’d expect of Phaidon, the photography is stunning – literally!
A beautifully illustrated and mesmerizingly told account of life in Iran in the during the Islamic Revolution.
A funny and accessible history of humanity’s major scientific discoveries from the big bang until now.
An intense re-telling of Australia’s most gruesome shipwreck and the bloody mayhem that followed.
The story of how Hayes’ life entwined then untwisted from Oliver Sacks’. A deeply moving account of love, loss, and New York City.
A quick and easy introduction on how to navigate today’s ‘post-truth’ world with critical thinking skills.
Sparked by the eponymous viral blog post, a fantastic look at contemporary race issues.
Oscillating between his first hand account and the view of rescue workers – the tale of a man lost at sea for over 13 hours.
Funny and sharp, this collection of diary entries is a true delight to read.
A moving memoir that delves into issues of trauma, weight, and self-image.
In a ramshackle old London house, heavily pregnant Trudy is carrying on an affair with Claude, her brother in law. The pair are plotting a way to rid themselves of John, her husband and Claude’s brother. Witness to the scene is Trudy and John’s unborn child, who is outraged at the (current and planned) treatment of his father, and plots his own revenge. I often think Ian McEwan can’t write a bad sentence, and Nutshell is no exception. It is a sharp, darkly funny rewriting of Hamlet, and at less than 200 pages, waiting to be gobbled up in an afternoon.
In a remote kingdom in India a long time ago, there lived a princess named Cinnamon, whose eyes were made of pearls and so she couldn’t see. She was also mute, but no one could work out why. One day, a tiger strolls into the palace and says he will teach her to speak. This is a beautifully written book, which is to be expected from Neil Gaiman, and the illustrations by Divya Srinivasan are beautiful. It reads like Indian mythology but this entirely original story, with green embossing on the cover and hardback format makes this a wonderful gift and the perfect addition to any library.
A heart warming comedy-romance for YA readers looking for a light read. Dimple is the only daughter of an Indian-American family, their only hope is she will meet an I.I.H. (Ideal Indian Husband) when she goes off to a summer program on app development and coding, something she is really interested in (The coding, not the husband.) I like that Dimple is a very natural character and comfortable with herself, not hung up on image or opinions of others. She is gutsy and down to earth with a very funny personality. Rishi is rich, good looking and a hopeless romantic, a perfect match for Dimple, or so their parents believe and as the pair gravitate towards each other, the adults start playing a dangerous match making game. This is a wonderfully written, cultural novel that opens up another world of standards, tradition and expectation and how modern teens must rebel against the set ways of their parents to discover their own identities.
Hundreds of thousands of people undergo general anaesthetic for surgery every day, but this relatively recent discovery raises questions about our consciousness and our brains that we’re only just starting to consider. Australian writer and journalist Kate Cole-Adams talks about her own experiences with anaesthesia as well as studies and interviews with patients, for a book that gives us no easy answers, but is an engrossing and thoughtful exploration of medical science and what it means to be ‘us’
People who are looking for a book to help them understand investing and how to do it well will often go to the classic names of Benjamin Graham or Warren Buffett. The third name on that list should be Charlie Munger. Munger is Warren Buffett's long time friend and business partner as well as a follower of Benjamin Graham's idea of 'value investing' - buying in to companies that are undervalued by the market - and Buffett actually credits Munger with a large part of their success by convincing him to take a long term view of investments rather than looking to make high value trades quickly.
James May of Top Gear fame has written this book as a companion to his BBC4 series of the same name. May spends each chapter looking at different old appliances or machinery, taking them apart and then putting them back together piece by piece. These include: a lawnmower; a food mixer; a model train; and a guitar.
Hanif Kureishi’s latest book is a blackly comic novella told from the point of view of Waldo, an elderly, dying, wheelchair-bound film-maker who begins to suspect that Zee, his much younger wife, is having an affair with Eddie, an old acquaintance who has come to visit. Waldo decides to prove his suspicions and then to enact revenge. This book is as much character study as it is plot though, and the book is packed with wry observations and comic asides. And also a lot of explicit languages, explicit scenes, deeply unlikeable characters and enough political incorrectness to upset pretty much everyone – but in a good way.
This is a pretty dark premise for a book. The main character, Helena, is born in captivity, and is the daughter of a notorious kidnapper called the Marsh King. Her mother is the Marsh King’s other hostage. She’s raised not knowing her life is unusual or different, as she’s taught to hide, hunt and survive in the wilderness. Over two decades later, she’s living with her own children, back in civilisation, trying to put her past behind her, when her father escapes from a maximum security prison. She knows she won’t feel safe until her father is captured again – and she knows that she’s only one with the knowledge and skills to track him down and put a stop to him. It’s a cat-and-mouse thriller, where Helena is both prey and predator.I can’t describe any better than one of the critics – “It’s Room meets The Revenant”
This is the second novel from Laura Barnett, who previously wrote Versions of Us, which was met with a fair amount of critical acclaim and was also an international bestseller. This novel, Greatest Hits, tell the story of a fictional British singer-songwriter, Cass Wheeler, as she spends a day assembling her “greatest hits” album – sixteen songs from a four decade career. As she picks each song, we get the lyrics in full, followed by a flashback to the events that inspired the song. The whole book ends up resembling a fictional biography, only with a scope and an intimacy that a real biography would struggle to match. What makes the novel even more fascinating is that Laura Barnett teamed up with actual singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams to record an album of all the songs in the book, meaning the book now has its own official soundtrack.
In 1961 an American publisher, Simon Weeks, travels to Moscow to meet his brother Frank. The two men have not seen each other in over a decade, since Frank was discovered to be a KGB agent and he and his wife, Jo, escaped to Russia. Frank has written a memoir and wants Simon to publish it, and the trip is ostensibly for editing purposes. At the first opportunity though, Frank asks for Simon's help. He wants to return to America and is willing to trade Soviet State secrets for help.
Winner of this year's Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Before the American Civil War, there was a network of secret routes and safe houses used to funnel African-American slaves out of slave states and into free states, or even to Canada. This was called the Underground Railroad. Colson Whitehead’s novel is rewrites history, turning a metaphorical underground railroad into a literal and actual slave-run subway. Loaded with tension as it tells the story of two slaves making a desperate break for freedom, on the run from a terrifying slave-catcher, it also manages to be a remarkably powerful, sensitive and moving novel. It’s very clear why Underground Railroad has garnered the acclaim it has.
This is Paula Hawkins highly anticipated second novel, after the runaway success of Girl on the Train. Into The Water follows the story of 15-year-old Lena, whose mother Nel has turned up dead in a small town’s river, making her the second woman to have drowned there within the year. This is a smarter and twistier novel than Girl on the Train, with multiple unreliable narrators taking over the story throughout the book and plenty of dark secrets coming to the surface.
Inga Simpson’s fiction work has often shown her love of the Australian bush, and this memoir of both her personal journey as a writer and as a caretaker of the Australian bush is a perfect continuation of the theme. With each chapter dedicated to a certain tree species, Inga travels from her childhood memories of ironbarks and eucalypts, to an escape from Brisbane city life to the Queensland hinterlands and a rustic country property. Books like Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees have given readers a new appreciation for the trees in our lives, but to read an Australian narrative is especially enjoyable.
THIS SESSION IS FULLY BOOKED. Please click this link to book for the afternoon session.
To celebrate the new release of The Very Cranky Bear Jigsaw Set, and the upcoming release of The Very Sleepy Bear, Boffins Books are having a Very Cranky Bear fun themed event for the school holidays.
Nimona is a young shapeshifter who wants to learn the art of villainy under the tutelage of one of the great – Lord Ballister Blackheart. But her willingness to break the rules, and the actions of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics, raise some questions about who the real villains and heroes are. Noelle Stevenson’s artwork is unique and really expressive, especially the way she keeps Nimona recogniseable even as she shifts her shape. The story is both funny and quite heartwarming, with lots of caring characters who just want to do the right thing – once they can work out what that is.
This is the debut novel of Melbourne writer, Sarah Bailey, and revolves around the murder of a teacher, Rosalind Ryan, in a small town in New South Wales, and the discovery of her body in the local lake. The investigation is headed up by a detective called Gemma Woodstock, an investigation made all the more difficult by the antagonistic associations Gemma and Rosalind had in high school. As Gemma pulls the threads attached to Rosalind’s murder, she unravels many dark secrets around the small town she thought she knew. This is an atmospheric and well-realised Australian crime novel that would be a great read for any fans of Jane Harper’s The Dry.
Year of the Orphan is an Australian post-apocalyptic novel set in the Outback, hundreds of years from now, after a mysterious destruction wiped out civilisation. The main character is a young woman called Orphan, who is one of the scavengers or “scavs” who ventures out into the ruins of civilisation for supplies, and in doing so, discovers clues as to what wiped the world out – and possibly how to prevent it happening again. What makes this book really unique is that the writing style mimics Orphan’s own pre-literate language style, with unique abbreviations, uncommon sentence structures and other grammatical peculiarities. Whilst it’s definitely an adult title, there’s quite a lot to suggest it could have crossover appeal with young adult readers as well.
Finally, after almost two years, this book has moved from hardback to paperback. This is actually a collection of three novellas, all set in Westeros AKA the world of A Game of Thrones, all set almost a century before A Game of Thrones and all following the adventures of the knight Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Aegon Targaryen, commonly referred to as Dunk and Egg. As you may have guessed from those nicknames, this is somewhat a tonal departure from the other Westeros stories, which is what makes these stories so enjoyable. It’s nice to get a glimpse of a time and place within George RR Martin’s massive world where people still had fun, where some people were still kind and good-natured and where it was possible to have a good old-fashioned rollicking adventure without all the Sturm und Drang. Plus the black-and-white illustrations throughout by fantasy artist Gary Gianni are truly exceptional
Deep in rural England lies the town of Rotherweird and the valley surrounding it. Elizabethan in appearance and indeed origin, Rotherweird has some unusual laws and customs. Essentially independent from the rest of the country, its citizens are strictly forbidden to study their own history. When four strangers arrive in town and start digging around in the past, the peril faced by The Lost Acre, a secret world connected to Rotherweird by two portals, is revealed. A race ensues between good and evil forces to unlock the many mysteries of The Lost Acre and its role in Rotherweird's origins.
Haslett’s sad yet compassionate second novel is about a close-knit family’s struggle to deal with two generations of depression. It is told from the viewpoints of each family member, each with a distinct voice. At times tragic, and other times witty and clever, this is an absorbing depiction of the all-consuming effect of mental illness on the sufferers and those closest to them.
A tour of the universe written as succinctly as possible by the world’s best known astrophysicist.
This book explores the evolution of the brain to create reality as we know it, as well the things that we can do to change the way we perceive the world around us.
I devoured this book. Patrick Ness has quickly become one of my top favourite authors. His previous book The Rest of Us Just Live Here was so amazing in its quirky mishmash of genre that I couldn't put it down so when I received this book I carefully lined it up for my regular Friday book blog, except I couldn't wait that long and now that I've read it, I'm glad I jumped on it earlier. Similar to the previous book, the double story hooked me in. The main narrative is contemporary fiction. Adam is the younger son of a very religious family, gay and scared to come out, working for an Evil International Mega-Conglomerate with a manager who sexually harrasses him constantly, he thinks he's still in love with his ex but his boyfriend is an amazing and supportive guy and his best friend is moving away so he's going through a pretty rough time. The story follows him and his friends and an underlying story of a teen murdered by her drug addled boyfriend makes this an intriguing contemporary read.
One of the best contemporary fantasy novels ever published. It tells the tale of a man called Shadow, an ex-convict, who gets caught up in a supernatural war between two sets of Gods. One set is the Old Gods, made up of gods from Norse, African and Egyptian mythology, who have lost most of their power as people stopped believing in them, and the other set is the New Gods, borne from peoples new beliefs, made up of gods like the goddess of media and the god of the Internet. The book mixes all that in with a road trip and pure Americana, and it is absolutely essential reading.
An exceptionally odd novel blending the fantastic with mundane. This tells the story of Charlie, a man from Birmingham, England who gets hired to be the physical harbinger of Death – as in the abstract concept of Death, the Grim Reaper, one of the four horsemen, that Death. As it says on the cover – Death visits everyone, but before that, they meet Charlie. This book is partly a philosophical exploration of how death affects various people and partly it’s a semi-comic world of supernatural bureaucracies, but mostly it’s a very affectionate character study of a very normal man in a very unusual job.
This is the debut novel from Melbourne writer Sarah Schmidt. It is a fictionalized account of the infamous true crime story from 1892 – the Lizzie Borden case. For those who don’t know, Lizzie Borden was put on trial for the axe murders of her father and stepmother and was acquitted at the trial, despite being a) the only suspect and b) quite clearly off her rocker. Sarah Schmidt’s novel turns that story into a dark and gritty non-linear novel, expertly paced and plotted to keep you intrigued the whole way through.
This is a collection of seven short stories set in North Korea, detailing life under the regimes of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. It’s fascinating that this book even exists. This was a book written by someone living in North Korea, about North Korea, critical of North Korea, and smuggled out of the country. And if you think the story of how it got out sounds like something you’d want to read, you’re in luck, 'cause that story forms part of the supplementary materials at the back of the book. This book is a remarkable blend of fiction and non-fiction, current affairs and literature and is truly, undeniably unique.
This is a novel written by Michael Crichton, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of Westworld. Crichton, however, died almost a decade ago and this book is his third posthumous release. This particular novel, Dragon Teeth, was discovered by Crichton’s wife. It tells the story of a feud between two real-life fossil hunters in the Wild West and features all the thing Crichton was well known for – a quick pace, a love of science and a truly astonishing amount of detail and research. Considering the manuscript was found in the 70s, it’s also interesting to read as insight into where Crichton first started exploring dinosaurs and Westerns, the two subjects of his most famous creations.
The first book a new series, this a fantasy read with some great characters - Ferius Parfax is a personal favourite - and excellent worldbuilding that doesn't over-explain the Jan'Tep society, but leaves you eager to know more. The plot is a classic coming-of-age story, but with a few twists and some humourous moments that lift it above the usual. The suggestion that this is great for fans of Firefly is spot on and I'm now tracking down more Sebastien de Castell to read while I wait for book two!
The latest offering from Murakami is a delightful collection of short stories - quickly read, but the unique characters and circumstances will stay with you. A young man who teaches himself to speak in the Kansai dialect so that he can fin in with the fans of his sports team sticks out in my mind even now. Plenty of cats and jazz, of course, but pleasureable to read and perfect both for long-time fans and people new to Murakami's work.
An incredibly honest examination of OCD, written by a woman who has struggled with the disorder since childhood. This gives a great insight into the disorder and it’s overwhelming nature, as Lily Bailey details her thought patterns and how they seemed to her to be totally reasonable, but also how they totally consumed her life. This book is a great tool for understanding, not just for friends and family members, but also for people who deal with these thought patterns themself.
From the CSIRO, this new bird guide details species from around Australia in their juvenile, immature, and adult stages, as well as flight patterns and calls, with illustrations and detailed write ups. An excellent shelf reference for any bird lover.
This book is about a boy who plays a video game and it comes to life and he becomes a real dino hunter. I liked that they had real dinosaurs and built robot dinosaurs. Perfect for anyone who likes dinosaurs and robots.
In 1856 you could buy one in British Guiana for a penny. In 2014 in New York, the only one in existence sold for 9.5 million dollars. Shoemaker Stuart Weitzman is the current owner of the world's most expensive stamp - the 'one-cent Magenta', and James Barron's entertaining new book takes the reader on a journey into 'Stamp World' as he calls it, where recluses, aristocrats, show-offs and genuine boffins abound. One owner died in a US prison, having been convicted of murder, another tried to prevent his estranged wife from ever inheriting it, and another, an Australian, kept his identity secret for 30 years. This is a book full of fun and bizarre facts about the kooky world of stamp collecting.
The Boy on the Bridge is MR Carey’s highly-awaited follow-up The Girl with All the Gifts which was the runaway success story of 2014. The first book was a horror/science-fiction novel set after the end of the world and telling the story of a young zombie girl realising how powerful she is – and how dangerous. One of the most intriguing mysteries of that novel was the abandoned mobile laboratory, the Rosalind Franklin, and The Boy on the Bridge tells the suspenseful and intriguing story of that laboratory and its crew as they traverse a ruined and plague-ridden world. It’s a fantastic horror novel in its own right and compelling companion to its predecessor. It certainly puts The Walking Dead to shame, I can tell you that much.
Pieces of You is a heartbreaking new contemporary novel by Eileen Merriman. Fifteen year old Becs moves from Dunedin to the big city life in Auckland, and from there her happy world begins to darken. After traumatic experiences lead her to start cutting herself, her downward spiral into depression is only slowed by the enigmatic Cory Marshall. Swept into a world of Hemingway, Plath, Fitzgerald and Hinton, the pair discover their love of great literature brings them closer and starts something new. But is Becs finally safe from her horrid past? Or is it just beginning? This is a book about facing your demons and saving yourself. It makes you more aware of suicide, loneliness, peer pressure and social dynamics. An engaging read, its mix of seriousness and humour help you identify with the characters and fall in love with the story.
'Naondel' follows the feminist epic stories of the Red Abbey and the surrounding realms that Maria Turtschaninoff started in 'Maresi'. If you’re a fan of the Handmaid’s Tale and want more to satisfy your curiosity, this is a great gateway series into a battle story of female empowerment, dark history and magical adventure.
*As reviewed on Radio 6PR 882 19th May 2017*
*As reviewed on Radio 6PR 882 11th May 2017*
*As reviewed on Radio 6PR 882 11th May 2017*
*As reviewed on Radio 6PR 882 5th May 2017*
*As reviewed on Radio 6PR 882 5th May 2017*
New to paperback, this is the perfect book for bedtime reading with it's Mary Poppins-esque adventures. Five stories take Miss Petitfour and her sixteen cats on journeys all over the world, travelling en avion via magic tea-party tablecloth to find all kinds of treats from marmalade to "Birthday Cheddar". This quirky book is purrfect for cat lovers and the old fashioned vibe of classic story telling makes it a relaxing tale for sleepy kids.
UWA Institute of Advanced Studies, the City of Perth Library & Boffins Books present Yassmin Abdel-Magied author of Yassmin's Story as she speaks about 'Unconscious Bias: What is it and how can we deal with it?'
I am absolutely terrified of snails but even I could not resist this cute little book. In hardback, this is the perfect story time read and as you can hear the french accent in your head, it makes for a fun and imaginative book to get the little ones giggling. 'Do you want me to come out? Really? Then you must say, "Come out, Escargot! Come out and I promise I will never put a carrot in your salad! Come out and I will kiss you!" Wonderful!
Ollie's Treasure is such a beautifully illustrated book and will relax children using mindfulness techniques to tune in to the sounds, smells, taste and touch that calm the mind and body and help them take a step back to enjoy life and the simple joy of little things.
The world of the school playground with all its friendships, rivalries and drama is wonderfully created in Tracy Chevalier's The New Boy, the fifth title in the Hogarth Shakespeare Series, where modern day best-selling authors are asked to re-imagine Shakespeare's plays. She has chosen a 1970s Washington DC school playground, as her setting, and all the action takes place over the course of one day. A new year 6 boy has arrived, late in the school year. Osei is the son of a Ghanaian diplomat. Looking around, he sees that all the other children are white and knows he can expect both overt and covert racism. A young girl, Dee, is assigned to show him the ropes and the pair quickly become friends. However the class bully, Ian, doesn't like what he sees and sets out to cause trouble. As recess is followed by lunch and then afternoon break, Ian's plan unfolds, wreaking havoc among the students and teachers. Like the others in this series, the story is written to stand on its own. You don't need to have any knowledge of Othello, but if you do, then you will see all the parallels and references to the play. I loved the way Chevalier nailed the atmosphere of the playground. All the kids are hyper aware of the invisible hierarchy that exists among them. They live in their own little world , or worlds really. There is the Pirate Ship where certain groups hang out, the ball game that others play, the trees where some go to sit, and the constant game of jump rope played by the girls. Each has its own strictly adhered to etiquette that Osei is aware he must navigate to have a chance of fitting in.
What an amazing story this is. It's one of those "truth is stranger than fiction" tales. Jessie "Chubbie" Miller, an Australian housewife, travelled to London in the 1920s to escape a life she was bored with. There by chance she met Bill Lancaster, a (married) pilot who dreamed of being the first person to fly a light plane from Britain to Australia. Quickly surmising that Bill was more of a dreamer than a planner, she suggested a partnership - she would raise the money for the trip, and he would take her with him. Thus began their adventures together, first in a two seater Avro Avian biplane named the Red Rose, then is a series of other planes in America. Along the way they became lovers, encountered smugglers, snakes and media moguls. Chubbie competed in the first "Powder Puff Derby" for women pilots and Bill was tried for murder. Chubbie's courage, stamina, intelligence and sheer style was phenomenal. It's amazing that she seems to have been forgotten by history. She really was both a pioneer and a feminist to be proud of.
In this wonderful reimagining of the Greek myth of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra and their family, Colm Toibin gives centre stage to a revengeful Clytemnestra, furious at her husband's actions in sacrificing their daughter Iphigenia to the gods of war. Her plan to rid herself of her husband and begin afresh results in a spiral of violence involving her remaining children, Orestes and Electra. House of Names manages to be both action packed and elegant, not an easy feat. Even if you are familiar with the Greek tale, the change in perspective and added voices of characters previously in the background provides new interest. Initially sympathetic to Clytemnestra's plight, I soon became horrified as the violence got out of control and found myself pinning my hopes on Orestes.
In the small town of Amgash, Illinois, people struggle to cope with the disappointments of life. Some seek to live a good life, to perform small acts of kindness and to understand those around them. Some don't. Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout paints a picture of Amgash via a series of portraits of its citizens. She quietly illuminates lives of poverty, prejudice, betrayal, bravery and occasional grace. If you've read her previous novel "My Name is Lucy Barton" then you will recognize Amgash as Lucy's hometown, the place she fled as soon as she was able. Strout reminds me of Kent Haruf, another chronicler of small town life. Her stories are not full of action, they are reflective and concerned with people's inner lives, and the legacy of past deeds. Although sometimes sad, "Anything is Possible" is written with a generous spirit and is a joy to read.
Henry Marsh's first book, Do No Harm was a bit like a neurosurgeon's version of Dr Oliver Sack's works, a collection of case studies from his years as a consultant neurosurgeon in London hospitals. In part, this second book continues in the same vein, with many fascinating stories from both home and abroad - Marsh made frequent visits to Ukraine and Nepal over the years, operating on countless patients and training local doctors. But it is also much much more. As he approaches retirement Marsh begins to look forward with both fear and trepidation, work having always been the central and most important part of his life. He also looks back, reflecting on his career and his life. The increasingly bureaucratic nature of hospitals makes for some hysterically funny, if infuriating episodes. The collection of 'ghosts' in his head - patients whom he failed to help, or worse, whom he actually harmed during an operation - grows with each year, and will always haunt him. It is self evident that great skill and confidence are pre-requisites for a successful career in neurosurgery - after all, who would want a ditherer operating on their brain? It takes many years for Marsh to recognise that humility is equally important. This is a fascinating and beautifully written book.
Boffins Books and Subiaco Library are pleased to host Paul E. Hardisty for the launch of his new book Reconciliation For The Dead. Join us with special guest David Whish-Wilson for an in conversation event about this third book in the thrilling Claymore Straker series.
Being a parent to a teenager can be difficult and confusing to know if you are doing what is right and best for you teen.
The Breakfast Club presented by CCI and Boffins Books is an event series dedicated to bringing talented authors and their books to the WA business community.
Boffins Books are delighted to be the official bookseller at the Richard Gerver workshop on embracing and leading change in your school.
The thrilling sequel to Sami Shah’s Fire Boy, the story of Wahid, a young man who discovers that he is half-human, half-djinn. The first book was an exhilarating fantasy novel riffing on Islamic myths & legends and Earth Boy escalates even further as Wahid crosses over to the world of the djinns and faces off against the devil and the apocalypse. Shah is especially skilful at mixing the mythical with the contemporary, making this a perfect read for any Neil Gaiman fans looking for a new author.
Nikki Gemmell’s timely and important book on euthanasia is written from an incredibly personal perspective. After explores Nikki’s relationship with her own mother, Elayn, who made the decision to end her own life – alone – after struggling with chronic pain and aging. While the book is partially about coming to terms with the loss of a parent, there are also investigations of the legal and moral issues surrounding euthanasia. The book is written in short sharp bursts but will hopefully reinvigorate debate around aging and the right to die with dignity in Australia.
Black Inc’s follow up to “The Hidden Life of Trees” takes a very different approach. David George Haskell writes a series of essays on his favourite trees around the world, detailing their environment and lifestyles, neighbours and problems. He also touches on humans and our impact on trees, as well as our useage and kinship with forests. From the Amazonian ceibo and the indigenous tribes who fight to protect the rainforest, to Japanese Zen monks who live amongst Japanese White Pines, and visiting an ancient olive tree in Jerusalem – this book urges us to reconnect with nature in a thoughtful and meaningful way.
From the authors of ‘This is a Ball’ and ‘Who took the B from my _ook’ this book will drive you crazy. A play on expression, this book tries to convince you that green is red, purple is red, a penguin is red! And it very nearly succeeds! Perfect for story time. Love it!
This is the story of Samuel Hawley, loving and devoted father, who carries the scars of 12 bullet wounds on his back. When his daughter Loo turns 12, Hawley decides they will swap their itinerant lifestyle for a more settled way of life while Loo attends high school.
A woman is found dead in her Oslo apartment with what forensics say are bite marks on her neck. Within a couple of days another body is found with the same marks. Something about the crime scene rings a bell with Harry Hole, and it isn't long before he is back helping the police hunt for a serial killer. Jo Nesbo is the king of Scandinavian crime writing. His Harry Hole series is addictive. The books are gruesome, violent, dark tales that suck you in and don't let you go until the very last page.
Guido Brunetti's break from work is interrupted when the body of a man is found in the lagoon. Unsure if it is suicide, accident or murder, Brunetti begins an investigation that leads him back into the past and the legacy of an industrial accident long forgotten by most people. As always with Donna Leon's books, the crime and its solution are just one part of the narrative. Venice, Brunetti, his family and friends are just as, if not more important. Charming and ironic as its predecessors, Earthly Remains is also a melancholy tale about the damage we are doing to the land and the future we are leaving to our children.
My oldest brother served in Malaya in the Australian army during the emergency so this book took my interest. Although it’s about the RAAF base in Butterworth, it’s a fascinating story of Australians based overseas in the last days of the British Empire, of the Cold War, and of course the rise of an independent Malaysia. A perfect gift for anyone associated in some way with the 50,000 Australians and their families who served there between 1955 and 1958.
It’s 75 years now since the Japanese takeover of Rabaul in World War Two. 1500 Australian soldiers and civilians were caught there. Ian Townsend gives us the background of these events and focuses on five civilians – including an eleven year old boy – who were executed by the Japanese as spies. It’s a riveting story, as the author reveals who these people were and what led them to this terrible end.
We can’t just fly off to Sam’s gym, The Woolshed, every day but thankfully Sam has brought his program to us all between the covers of his new book. The exercises are easy to follow, the recipes look too delicious for a book about healthy living, and it all adds up to an easy and inspiring way to become fit and well with less than a half hour’s effort every day.
UWA Oceans Institute, the City of Perth Library & Boffins Books are pleased to present Anna Krien, author of the latest Quarterly Essay #66 The Long Goodbye.
Your guts have an astonishing degree of control over your mood, hunger and general health. The Clever Guts Diet is a book that celebrates this hugely under-rated organ and shows you what you need to do to keep it in prime condition.
Boffins Books are having an espionage themed activity day for the school holidays. Suitable for ages 6 - 9 years old.
To celebrate his 30th anniversary, Boffins Books are having a Wally-themed event for the school holidays.
We Come Apart is great for reluctant readers as its verse format makes the text easy to understand and less intimidating but the content is mature enough to keep a teen interest. It tells a story of love and friendship through dual perspectives. Jess is from an abusive, miserable home and acting out seems to be the only way to deal with it. Nicu has recently emigrated to the UK from Romania and is struggling to find his place in the world. The two meet through community service and their friendship slowly morphs into something more. Finding solace in each other, they find a way to battle their sadness and to put themselves back together.
This is an inspiring, well illustrated biography of an iconic Australian, perfect for ages four and up. King of the Outback describes the tale of Sidney Kidman from when he left home at 13 with 50 cents in his pocket to his rise in wealth and popularity, knighted for his services to the Commonwealth, donating thousands of horses to the Australian Army along with beef and wool It includes the mass stampede and the heroic actions of the Kidman Stockmen at Sid's 75th birthday rodeo. A great nonfiction addition to any library.
This is such a beautiful book! The incredibly vibrant art prints burst from the page and the poetry and prose make it a fascinating and gorgeous addition to any collection. In hardback at such a good price, this is a must have whether you are child or adult.
A beautiful picture book for little ones, this story encourages the reader to never give up on their dreams. Do what makes you happy and don't let anybody say you can't do something. Dream BIG!
The idea that some older people have of social media has often been that young people share anything and everything online and often find themselves in trouble.
Twelve years after she vanished from a beach, Gil Coleman believes he sees his wife Ingrid in the street. Giving chase, Gil has an accident and is hospitalized. This brings his daughters Nan and Flora home to care for him and Flora believes her mother might in fact be alive, but Nan thinks it is utter nonsense. As they face the reality of their father's condition, the girls confront the memories of their childhood. At the same time, the story of Gil and Ingrid's marriage unfolds in a series of letters hidden away in books throughout the house. This is such engrossing storytelling from Fuller. Present and past stories are interwoven to reveal a family drama full of secrets, lies and half truths. Each new revelation pulls you further and further into the story as you try and work out exactly what did happen to Ingrid all those years ago.
The 2016 Australian/Vogel Award Winning the Memory Artist is a look through Russia’s recent history, and explores the importance of remembering our past – no matter how violent or unappealing those memories might be. Pasha, the central character, remembers his family meeting at night to preserve the impact of Stalin’s regime. As an adult he is forced to recall and collect these memories after the death of his mother.
Neil Gaiman is widely regarded to be one of the giant talents of fantasy fiction and Norse Mythology shows why. It’s a beautiful retelling on all the ancient Norse myths, both well-known and obscure. Steeped in research and history, but always with touches of Gaiman’s classic wit and vitality, this book is essential for any fantasy fans.
Jonathan Moore's previous book The Poison Artist is one of my absolute favourite crime novels ever - a dark, moody, absinthe-soaked modern noir with one hell of an ending - so I was very excited to get my hands on this one. Luckily, it lives up to its predecessor. It's obliquely references the previous book, maintains the same gorgeous San Francisco setting, whilst having enough distance to read as a stand-alone. The plot is a great procedural puzzle, dealing with an alcoholic mayor being blackmailed, a missing woman, a dying man's confession, an exhumed decades-old body and an agoraphobic piano teacher. It's a great recommendation for any crime fan who thinks they've read it all.
At the beginning of the 16th century a young Florentine diplomat, Niccolo Machiavelli, observes the rise to power of the Borgia family. Rodrigo Borgia, now Pope Alexander VI; his eldest son Cesare, once a cardinal but now head of the Pope's army; and Lucrezia, a pawn in the game of marriage, en route to her third husband in the north of Italy. Where others are frightened and disgusted, Machiavelli is fascinated. Yes he sees corruption, brutality and nepotism. But he also perceives a cunning intelligence in the pursuit and maintenance of power. Sarah Dunant is not alone in believing that perhaps history has cast the Borgias, particularly Lucrezia, in too dark a light. Her fictional account of the family is both engrossing and entertaining.
Author and naturalist Sy Montgomery chronicles the lives of the octopuses she gets to know over several years' of visiting the New England Aquarium in Boston. Along the way she befriends a diverse range of workers and volunteers, learns to scuba dive and becomes completely convinced that octopuses do indeed have souls. Her descriptions of her weekly 'date' with various octopuses, arms submerged in icy water, engulfed by eight sucker-covered tentacles will make you want to rush to the nearest aquarium to follow suit. Athena, Kali, Karma and Octavia each have different personalities. Sometimes cheeky and playful, sometimes withdrawn and quiet, always curious and intelligent, the octopuses teach her as much about herself and other humans as they do about themselves. This is interesting, thought provoking and fun reading.
In the 1960s biologist Leonard Hayflick developed a cell line using cells from an aborted human fœtus from Sweden. That cell line, named WI-38, is used by scientists all over the world to this day in research in a wide range of fields, including vaccine development. The story of its production, acceptance and adoption is a wonderful illustration of the changes that have occurred in science over the last 60 years. It is a tale of scientific endeavor, changing ethical norms and the increasingly tight links between science and business. Meredith Wadman's new book tells the story of the race to find safe vaccines and the difficulties encountered along the way. In doing so she also sheds light on the lives of the people involved, including those who didn't know they were taking part in scientific experiments.
UWA Oceans Institute, the City of Perth Library & Boffins Books are pleased to present A.C. Grayling. His latest book, The Age of Genius, posits how unorthodox thinking, war and technological invention transformed the Seventeenth Century into the crucible of modernity.